The issue of illegal immigrants has been one of the most outstanding issues in the United States. The approximated number of illegal immigrants who enter the United States annually stands between 1 million and 2 million (Greenstone, 2010). Today, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S stands at about 20 million (Greenstone, 2010). About10 million children, who are recognized as U.S citizens by law, are from the parents of illegal immigrants (Greenstone, 2010).
While some economists have proposed that Illegal immigrants are helpful in promoting the U.S economy, there has been an increasing concern that illegal immigrants are contributing negatively to the wellbeing of U.S citizens (Martha, 2011). In this paper, I will evaluate the issue of illegal immigration in the context of the existing government policy on illegal immigrants. My approach will put the U.S policy on immigration under the microscope of social theories. In my opinion, the issue of illegal immigration needs an evaluation that places the U.S in the dynamics of emerging global trends (Looney, 2011).
The capacity of elected representatives to take care of divergent needs that are present in the U.S society is crucial for a cohesive society to exist in the U.S. In the hope that elected representatives will be wise enough to implement policies that are for the general good of the country without the bias of majority factions, the U.S constitution has guaranteed a representative system of government (Greenstone, 2010). At times, the federal government has reacted to oppose an attempt by States to resolve the issue of immigration on their own (Greenstone, 2010).
One of the most critical issues that have emerged on the debate on immigration is the issue of inherent human rights. The recognition that every person has inherent human rights speaks against denying some citizen rights to illegal immigrants. Many illegal immigrants move to the U.S because they think that they can access an improved life there.
A number of immigrants who try to cross to the U.S from Mexico have encountered incidents of rape, theft, among other ills (Looney, 2011). The mitigation of such ills will continue to direct on the need for the formulation of better immigration policy. Likewise, improving the working environments of illegal immigrants forms many arguments towards improving the national immigration policy.
The United States consists of a society that is multi-faced in terms of ethnic, religious and class composition. Different segments that form the U.S have varying opinions on the issue of illegal immigrants. As multiple opinion polls have shown, as many as 60% of U.S are not for policies that will result in the deportation of all illegal immigrants. Such opinions are high among the Hispanic populations (Greenstone, 2010). Here, it is noteworthy to mention that about 40% of illegal immigrants who enter the U.S come from Mexico (Greenstone, 2010).
Moreover, a large segment of the U.S population consists of first-generation citizens (Greenstone, 2010). In addition, there is a considerable proportion of the U.S population that consists of wealthy people who are unlikely to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs and other economic opportunities (Greenstone, 2010). The opinion of such people on the issue of illegal immigration is under the definition of religious leanings and ethical beliefs. As such, the U.S policy on illegal immigration will continue in a direction that resonates with the majority faction. The majority faction is likely to oppose the adoption of extreme measures by the U.S government to mitigate illegal immigration (Looney, 2011).
Like any other national issue, the issue of illegal immigration will mainly resonate with the views of the U.S elite. The current U.S. government consists of powerful elites whose actions have a direct impact on the lives of the U.S majority. A number of the U.S. elites who are in the current government will try to utilize their talent and education to solve the problem of illegal immigration on their own. As a result, some of their recommendations may not resonate with the majority (Looney, 2011).
Likewise, the current government elites may vouch for immigration policies that will give them political mileage. The issue of illegal immigration has generated passive reactions from governments due to political ramifications that may result from taking certain stands. Since there are a significant proportion of Latino voters in the calculus of U.S politics, political leaders have tried to recommend policies that can appeal to Latino voters. Recently, Obama introduced immigration measures that will allow some students to overstay in the U.S. beyond their visa deadline (Looney, 2011). Many have seen such an arrangement as an effort to appeal to the Latino Voters as the election approaches.
Currently, the U.S government mainly grants immigration because of family reunion, political persecution and the desire for self-empowerment (Greenstone, 2010). The U.S. has increased border surveillance to mitigate the entry of illegal migrants from Mexico. A number of illegal immigrants who meet some laid down specifications can apply for citizenship. The federal government has insisted it deals with the issues of illegal immigration including the deportation of illegal immigrants.
Critics have argued that the current immigration issue has substantial weaknesses that need redress. The current Immigration policy has not been effective in stopping millions of illegal immigrants from crossing to the U.S. The current U.S. policy on immigration does not provide for a sustainable approach in dealing with millions of undocumented illegal immigrants (who live in the U.S.) (Martha, 2011). In addition, it does not provide a framework for utilizing the workforce of foreign workers without creating an immigration problem.
There exists a multidimensional approach to interpreting the U.S. constitution about the issue of illegal immigrants. In many regards, sections of the constitution need the support of legislation that clearly defines the direction of dealing with illegal immigrants. Without the use of supportive legislation, it is difficult to place the U.S constitution in context with illegal immigration policies (Greenstone, 2010).
Bill of Rights
It is useful to try to measure how illegal immigrants can affect the capacity of the U.S government to provide multiple rights to U.S citizens. For example, does the documented competition for jobs between illegal immigrants and U.S citizens infringe on the rights of Americans (Martha, 2011)? These issues can generate a lot of debate by themselves.
The Federal Perspective
The Perspective of the Federal Government on the Issue of Illegal Immigration has mainly reflected on national politics. National political leaders have avoided taking stands that can antagonize Hispanic voters. The Federal government has also insisted that it deals with matters pertaining to immigration without the interference of states (Martha, 2011).
The Perspective of States
The perspective of given states on the issue of illegal Immigration is dependent on the ethnic compositions of people who reside in given states. Areas that have a high proportion of Hispanics have preferred a non-stringent approach in dealing with the issue of illegal immigration. However, some states have even tried to deal with the issue of immigration by themselves; hence, forcing the federal government to intervene.
A cooperative perspective will see States adhere to national policies on immigration and present challenges to the federal government. On the other hand, the federal government will need to respond to the challenges that States are facing due to the problem of illegal immigration. Such a direction would include the legislation of sustainable policies that can deal with the issue of illegal immigration.
In order to address the problem of illegal immigration, the federal government will need to develop a range of policies that place the U.S. in context with the rest of the world. The government may pursue a direction of giving temporary visas to immigrant workers. Such a direction would provide affordable labor to U.S. Industries (Greenstone, 2010).
Moreover, the government would need to develop a mechanism of dealing with millions of undocumented illegal immigrants that reside in the U.S. Developing a system of registering, andor absorbing undocumented immigrants is one way that can help to mitigate the problem of illegal immigration. Moreover, it will be useful for the U.S. government to develop a range of measures that will result in the growth of the Mexican economy; hence, help to stop the influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico due to the prevailing economic conditions there.
Greenstone, M. (2010) The facts about immigration The Policy Memo, 4(2), 12-26.
Looney, A. (2011) Economic facts about Immigration The Policy Memo 5 (1), 214-37.
Martha, H. (2011). The immigration Debate The Focus, 2 (31), 51-68.